Thursday, December 01, 2016

New Study: Facilitating Vaginal Breech Birth in Hospital Settings

I am excited to announce my latest research project: examining what helps and what hinders vaginal breech birth in American hospitals.

I am actively recruiting hospital-based breech providers to participate in a 30-60 minute phone or Skype interview. This includes providers who have attended vaginal breeches within the past 10 years, even if they are no longer doing them today.

I am also hoping to study one or more maternity units that currently support the option of vaginal breech. Finally, I will be interviewing allied health care providers who have had some interaction with vaginal breech births (L&D nurses, anesthesiologists, and pediatricians).

If you would like to participate, or if you can recommend someone who might be interested, please
contact me. 

More information below:


Principal Investigator: Rixa Freeze, PhD
Collaborator: Shawn Walker, RM, MA, City University of London
Name of Project: Facilitating Vaginal Breech Birth in Hospital Settings

1. Purpose of the study

Despite the shift towards cesarean for breech presentation after the 2000 Hannah Term Breech Trial, some providers and hospitals continue to support the option of a vaginal breech birth. Our study examines the barriers and facilitators to providing a sustainable hospital-based vaginal breech service in the United States. We are studying maternity units as well as individual maternity care providers and allied health care providers (such as pediatricians, L&D nurses, and anesthesiologists) to understand the obstacles they face and the lessons they have learned in providing vaginal breech birth.

We theorize that the hospital environment—such as supportive colleagues or policies that uphold patient choice and autonomy—can significantly affect a provider’s willingness and ability to provide vaginal breech birth. By understanding both the obstacles and the supportive practices, we can help hospitals and providers better facilitate vaginal breech birth now and in the future.

2. Description of procedures and approximate duration

Participation in this study will involve an interview with one of the researchers. You will answer a series of open-ended questions about your experiences with vaginal breech birth. Interviews will be done in-person when possible, otherwise by phone or Skype. Interviews will be recorded and transcribed to ensure accuracy. Your name and location will be kept anonymous.

Participation in this study should take approximately 30-60 minutes. If we have additional follow-up questions, we will contact you via email or telephone.

3. Description of the discomforts, inconveniences, and/or risks that can be reasonably expected as a result of participation in this study.

There are no risks associated with this experiment beyond what you would encounter in everyday life. This study does not involve deception.

4. Anticipated benefits resulting from this study

We anticipate using our research to create a set of guidelines for hospitals and providers wishing to support vaginal breech births. This may benefit you directly by providing support and guidance; it may also benefit other providers and hospitals who wish to preserve the option of a vaginal breech birth. Keeping vaginal breech birth alive can help reduce the national cesarean rate, support maternal autonomy, and ensure that maternity care providers retain a valuable skillset.

5. Contact information

If you have questions about this study, you may contact:

Rixa Freeze 
(765-323-8098) or Shawn Walker


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